BOULDER — No. 8 Washington State continued their run towards a Pac-12 Championship with a 31-7 over the struggling Colorado Buffaloes on a chilly Saturday afternoon at Folsom Field.
WSU graduate transfer and FBS passing leader Gardner Minshew II was near perfect on the day, going 35-of-58 for 335 yards, two touchdowns, and a clean sheet of no interceptions or sacks.
CU junior quarterback Steven Montez went 20-of-35 for just under 200 yards and no touchdowns. He was sacked three times.
The Buffs scored on their second series of the game from a Travon McMillian three-yard rush. The senior tailback nearly broke into the endzone on a 64-yard run one play earlier.
Colorado has gotten off to fast starts the previous three games but went on to lose all three. Following the McMillian touchdown, the Buffs went cold the rest of the way, punting eight times, fumbling twice, and ending the game with a pick.
“It's just on us executing," Montez said. "I think we had chances and we had plays where we could have made things happen but it didn't go our way.“
Laviska Shenault Jr. made his return to the field after missing the last three weeks with a toe injury, making a team-leading 10 receptions for 102 yards, but the wide receiver admitted to not being back to 100%.
“I just felt like I was lacking everywhere, honestly," Shenault said. "There's really not a lot to say. We just need to, as a whole team, need to play harder. Stay focused the whole game. Offense-wise we just need to finish."
Max Borghi made his return to his home state to face off against Colorado, the team he was originally committed to during his junior year at Pomona High. After decommitting to CU, he found a home at WSU and hasn’t looked back since.
Borghi gave the Cougars their first lead of the game on a short pass by Minshew in the second quarter, dodging two CU defenders before walking into the endzone for the 28-yard touchdown.
“I've been taking it week-by-week but this one's something I circled on the calendar," said Borghi. "Going back home and playing in front of everybody I know, it's a big deal. It was exciting. I was looking forward to this game for sure. And going out there and doing what I did and what the team did, it was big. It was good for us."
After starting the year off 5-0, the Buffs have now dropped five straight and are in danger of not making a bowl game. The Cougars, who are now on a six-game winning streak, keep their Pac-12 Championship dreams alive and are on the outside-looking-in when it comes to the College Football Playoffs.